Option for Applicant to "Abandon" a Request
This may be covered by the discussion under having a "Withdrawn" status but in case it isn't... with our first round of folks using the system (yeah!) I had several applicants, when I queried about their LOI still in draft, let me know they didn't know how to delete an unitendeded duplicate LOI, or one they decided not to submit. It was an easy thing for me to "Abandon" their request, but it would be time-saving to give the applicant the opportunity to "Abandon" or "Withdraw" a request themselves.
posted June 12, 2013 by Kate Shirah, John Rex Endowment
Applicant abandon is now available for the first form in a process while it is in a draft.
Please let us know if you have any feedback about this implementation.
Donald W Roeseke Jr commented
Does this just work for the first form (i.e. LOI)? Why wouldn't you implement for any form. Lots can happen at an organization between LOI and Application. They should be able to abandon an application as well!!! In fact I have 3 organizations that need to do that right now.
Sandy Sidlovsky commented
This is a wonderful function to add. Thanks!!!
Suzanne Ruley commented
thank you all
We have working code the applicant abandon functionality in our dev environment.
In our discussions internal we decided to only allow applicants to abandon their own request for the first stage in the process.
If anyone wants to see this functionality and provide feedback before it is scheduled to be released on Dec 11. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Allowing the applicant to abandon their own request would be a great function.
We have a lot of clients who used the copy function and duplicated quite of bit of applications. It would be nice if the applicant can delete applications they don't intend to submit.
Dina Elkins commented
I agree this would be helpful. I have LOIs started that never get finished and someone else from the organization submits instead. It would be good if they could abandon it.
Allow applicant to abandon their own applications
While I'd like the Withdrawn category discussion to continue, I just wanted to respond to a couple of your questions/suggestions:
- We have processes that do just an application and we have others that do an LOI before an application. In the case of a process that uses an LOI, I think that Abandoned is appropriate in the LOI stage, where as Withdrawn should be the status if they've been invited to submit a full proposal and have chosen not to.
- I do think there's a need to differentiate between a request abandoned by an Administrator or by an applicant, especially in the case of an application that was requested after an LOI. I may be a bit paranoid, but if an ED calls and asks, I'd like to be able to explain to him/her how it got there.
posted September 23, 2013 by Mary Nicosia, GMA Foundations
Chris, thanks for continuing to think about this. In response to your questions:
By "DRAFT", do you actually mean "prior to Application Submitted"? For instance, should an applicant be able to abandon a request in LOI Submitted or LOI Complete? After reading the "Withdrawn" thread, here is how I'd differentiate these in practice with our foundation's structure for grant application and review: If there is an LOI stage (we have some processes with an LOI, while others do not), then it would be best to be Abandoned only in LOI Draft. Further, in those processes with an LOI, I would not want to have the applicant be able to abandon an application in Application Draft b/c it has already gone through an initial review process and "Withdrawn" would be more appropriate. If there is not an LOI stage, then it would be okay to be Abandoned only in Application Draft. I'm guessing this makes it a bit complicated. Perhaps the ability for an applicant to abandon in Draft could be an optional feature during process creation designated for each? I think once in Submitted or Complete it falls more appropriately to a "Withdrawn" status that is entered by the administrator. If this would be too complicated, another option would be that the administrator could always have the ability to change a status from "Abandoned" to "Withdrawn." - which would allow the applicant to abandon in DRAFT at either LOI or Application stage.
For the applicants' view of their request history, is there any need to differentiate between a request abandoned by an Administrator or by an Applicant? I'm guessing not, but wanted to confirm. I don't think there is a need.
Maybe this could be a topic at the upcoming Fall meeting for additional feedback and clarification on the three statuses discussed across both threads - Abandoned, Withdrawn, and the proposed Cancelled.
posted September 3, 2013 by Kate Shirah, John Rex Endowment
I can see where this would be a useful feature to have implemented. It's pretty common for orgs to start various applications or for an org to start an application and then realize they aren't eligible to apply. These are two examples of why I can see it being useful for the org to be given the ability to abandon an application.
In response to your points above see my comments in green:
Allow an applicant to "Abandon" a request (not Delete) in DRAFT. Agreed and the delete option should only be given to the administrator definitely not the org.
Do not need to differentiate between requests that were Abandoned by Administrators or Applicants (provided the "Abandon" option is prior to the status of Application Submitted). Agreed.
There is no need for a notification to go to the Administrator when an Applicant abandons their request. Could we set up an email notification if we'd like to become aware of this? Although it's not necessary, I think it would be helpful.
Whoever abandons the request, that record should show up in the Status Change Log. Agreed.
I have a couple more questions:
By "DRAFT", do you actually mean "prior to Application Submitted"? For instance, should an applicant be able to abandon a request in LOI Submitted or LOI Complete? We don't do LOI's so for us this would be for an application "prior to Application Submitted" as you note.
For the applicants' view of their request history, is there any need to differentiate between a request abandoned by an Administrator or by an Applicant? I'm guessing not, but wanted to confirm. I might be in the minority, but I'd like to see this differentiated. Does that complicate things?
I hope this helps.
posted September 3, 2013 by Kristen Cullen, Carolyn Foundation
First, the discussion around a "Withdrawn" status here seems a fair bit different than the discussion here. You might review that thread to make sure, but I see them as two distinct pieces of functionality.
I'd like to lay out what I think the most basic set of requirements are for the suggestion to allow an Applicant to Abandon a Request. The more basic we can keep it, the more straightforward it is to implement. Also, if we keep it basic, after we implement it, we can get feedback and expand the functionality at a later point. So here's what I think you all are agreeing on here:
Allow an applicant to "Abandon" a request (not Delete) in DRAFT.
Do not need to differentiate between requests that were Abandoned by Administrators or Applicants (provided the "Abandon" option is prior to the status of Application Submitted).
There is no need for a notification to go to the Administrator when an Applicant abandons their request.
Whoever abandons the request, that record should show up in the Status Change Log.
I have a couple more questions:
By "DRAFT", do you actually mean "prior to Application Submitted"? For instance, should an applicant be able to abandon a request in LOI Submitted or LOI Complete?
For the applicants' view of their request history, is there any need to differentiate between a request abandoned by an Administrator or by an Applicant? I'm guessing not, but wanted to confirm.
Finally - it would be great to hear from some other folks. Allowing applicants to Abandon requests is a fairly significant change, and I'm hesitant to proceed with something like this without hearing from a broader audience. Absolutely nothing against the comments here - I think this would be a useful feature - but some more comments would be very useful in helping to ensure we implement this change in a way that provides benefit to the most users possible.
And Dana, I'd like to take you up on your offer to demonstrate your process to show where links work best or what links would help streamline your process. I have a pretty busy schedule, but I'm sure I can work out some time for a short demo.
posted September 3, 2013 by Chris Dahl , Foundant Technologies
Chris, in response to your questions:
Our foundation would prefer only the option for an applicant to Abandon, so as to always maintain a record of the transaction in the system and the ability to revert the status to Draft.
I agree with Dana that we do not need a different status for Abandoned applications initiated by the applicant as compared to Abandoned applications initiated by an administrator, as long as the status log shows how it was initiated in case there was some question.
I hadn't thought of an applicant being able to initiate the Abandon outside of Draft, but occasionally we do have someone decide to terminate their application after it has been submitted and prior to award. Once an application has been submitted, it is important for our foundation to be able to capture the reason for a withdrawn application (mainly for quality assurance and improvement reasons). Regardless of who initiates, I see the potential utility of having a different status for applications that are withdrawn after the Draft stage. Abandon with just a record of the abandoned application works for Draft stage. For Submitted and Complete (anything up until Awarded), having a comment field explaining the Abandon or having a different status (e.g., Withdrawn) with comment field embedded would be helpful.
Yes, I would like to easily pull up all applications that have been Abandoned, but it isn't necessary to distinguish those by whether it was initiated by applicant or administrator. Based on my response in the prior bullet, it would be helpful to distinguish applications that were abandoned in Draft vs. Submitted or Complete.
I would not want a notification for an Abandon in Draft. I would want a notification for an Abandon in Submitted or Complete.
Again, thanks for giving this continued more thought,
posted August 19, 2013 by Kate Shirah, John Rex Endowment
Hey Chris, I thought I would offer my input on these points you have. And first off, I can't speak for all foundations, but I can speak for ours- so that is the perspective I offer some info...
Allowing an applicant to Abandon (or Delete) would likely occur while in Draft. If an applicant actually submits more than one application (very, very rare) then I would likely get in touch to verify which is the application they would like to have reviewed-we can only review one application per round at a time. It's because this is rare for us, that taking the step of checking in with the applicant, isn't an issue.
Not sure if allowing applicants to Delete is a good idea, because then there is no record of the attempt, correct? Although if there really is nothing on an application it doesn't seem worth keeping - so its difficult to say for sure if offering a Delete option is worthwhile. If the applicant can delete, I would assume there would be a specific process that gives the applicant a notice or something that makes them aware of what Deleting an application entails.
We would not care to track whether an applicant has Abandoned or Deleted a request. If there is ever a question on activity within a request, we just review the Status Change Log to see whom had been involved in whatever action was of concern. We could see this if it was Abandoned by the applicant then.
For what I can imagine when an applicant would Delete or Abandon a request, it's because they had noticed they had inadvertently begun a new application and there may not be much within the request - so for us to receive a notification may be redundant. I may then want to go and review the application they had done away with to find there was nothing much to see, thus taking some of my time for no real cause. If there are enough safe guards for the applicant to change their mind if they hit "Delete" or "Abandon" accidently, then I can only assume they know best and I needn't spend time tracking.
I have become accustomed to Abandoning in the Batch options, although I can see the wish to Abandon while looking through the Draft. So it's when you are at LOI/Application View you might want to see Abandon alongside the Send Email button, is that what the suggestion had been? I guess it's just so rare for us that we don't abandon requests from many other places besides Draft.
Links are helpful, but I know there are links that work in some areas and may disappear in other situations, and I have figured out how to work these to the greatest advantage. I would be happy to demonstrate our entire process at the Conference in October to show where links work best or what links would help streamline our process...I realize this is something you are maybe waiting on until other updates are rolled out. Not sure if there will be opportunities for Administrators to show our workflow to the development team at the conference, but in my mind when I find the back and forth through the Dashboard gets a bit much, I feel like showing someone how frustrating it can be. I am patient and am hopeful that after some important releases are completed, all these link issues may be addressed?
Thanks for looking into our request Chris! :)
posted August 19, 2013 by Dana Jeffery, Ben & Jerry's Foundation
A couple things ... as noted in my comment above, I can understand the desire for allowing applicants to Abandon or Delete requests. It'd be really nice to hear from more administrators to help us determine some requirements around this functionality, such as:
Would all foundations want to allow users to do both?
Do requests Abandoned / Deleted by applicants need to have their own status?
When should applicants be able to Abandon / Delete requests? Just in Draft? Submitted? Complete?
Do foundations need to track these at all?
Should administrators receive any kind of notification when this happens?
As for your next suggestion about allowing an Administrator to Abandon / Delete applications in Draft status directly from the Application View screen, I understand this as well. I have an agenda item for our next Product Team meeting to discuss the batch functionality options and the options on an individual request. For example, ight now you can batch abandon applications in draft, but you can't do it from the individual application view page. This may help save you some time if you move everything to submitted / complete, and then can Abandon all the other requests at once.
Finally, as for the "Return to Draft" link disappearing .. the reason it disappears is that it was implemented in response to a specific request where people wanted to look at a request, but not take action on it. It's more complex, and thus more prone to breaking, to try to maintain the history when a user does more than simply navigate (i.e. when you Abandon or Delete a request). That said, we can look at trying to maintain this link after particular actions are taken, and I can see how it would save a number of clicks.
Thanks for the detailed feedback. If you have any questions or more feedback, please let me know.
posted August 18, 2013 by Chris Dahl, Foundant Technologies
I would like to see this option given some strong consideration in prioritizing future system upgrades. Yesterday was the deadline to submit an application for our fall grant cycle. I have almost 50 applications that are in a draft status. Some are the result of the applicant starting more than one application, others decided for whatever reason not to finish the application once they initiated the process. Literally, they entered nothing on the form. It would be great if they could just abandon or delete the form on their own. However, now I will need to do this for them.
This brings me to why I was browsing the Idea Lab. Since I will need to go through these draft applications to mark abandon or delete I would like to make a suggestion that an Administrator can do this from the Application View screen for a form in draft status. The functionality should be similar what is built in for a submitted application. As it now stands, the only option for an Administrator on the Application View screen while in the draft stage is to Send Email. In order to abandon or delete I will need to click through several screens to get to the application draft and then mark abandon or delete. However, once I do this I can no longer get back to the Application Draft screen by clicking a link, but instead need to go through the Dashboard. I realize its only a few extra mouse clicks, but multiply this times the 50 drafts I need to manage and it starts to add up. Interestingly, I think your programmer intended for there to be a Return to Draft Link because it is displayed when I access the form by clicking on the project name which takes me to the Request Summary Screen, but the link disappears after I select Abandon or Delete.
Thanks, Bob Coakley - TJ Long Foundation
posted August 2, 2013 by Bob Coakley, Thomas J. Long Foundation
Hi Dana and Kate,
Thanks for taking the time to create a suggestion and comment on it. I can definitely understand the idea, and it's something that we will consider. I'd like to say that we'd be able to quickly address this idea, but currently we have quite a few other things that are taking priority. It's definitely something that will stay on our radar :-)
posted July 8, 2013 by Chris Dahl, Foundant Technologies
I would like to see this as well. Quite often a user will have two or more applications started for the one request, having not realised what they had done. I have heard from some of those that make that error, that they wish to cancel the additional ones but cannot. I have Abandoned many requests, that could easily have been deleted by the user once they've figured out their mistake. This would be helpful to both the user and the administrator. Thanks!
posted June 14, 2013 by Dana Jeffery, Ben & Jerry's Foundation